Watch: Liam Scarlett on Hansel and Gretel
The choreographer discusses his vision for his latest work and offers us a glimpse into the rehearsals.
James Hay as Hansel, Leanne Cope as Gretel, Brian Maloney as The Wtich and Steven McRae as The Sandman in Hansel and Gretel © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2013
Liam Scarlett’s Hansel and Gretel, the choreographer’s first full-length narrative ballet, opened in the Linbury Studio last week. Read the audience reaction to the opening night. Based on the popular Brothers Grimm fairytale, the ballet explores the sinister side to the well-known tale.
‘The original fairytales are horrific,’ explains Liam. ‘The story has devious, selfish children, a horrible stepmother, an incredibly cowardly father and a witch that is a cannibalistic monster. I wanted to delve into the darker animalistic side of it.’
The ballet, which features an original score by Dan Jones and designs by Jon Bausor, is set in the style of a 1950s horror movie. Watch an interview with Jon Bausor to find out more about the set.
There are only six characters in the ballet, and Liam worked closely with the dancers to create the roles.
‘It’s been a real collaborative process,’ he explains. ‘I want the dancers to feel comfortable with the characters that they are creating so they are not imposed or superficial at all.’
The first cast featured Leanne Cope as Gretel, James Hay as Hansel, Laura Morera as The Stepmother, Bennet Gartside as The Father, Brian Maloney as The Witch and Steven McRae as The Sandman.
‘They are six dancers that I admire and have worked with a lot,’ Liam continues. ‘I know them inside out and back to front, and they know me as a choreographer. I’ve been able to really push them to their limits.”
Hansel and Gretel returns in the 2013/14 Season